Sunday, December 27, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
PolitiFact | Sarah Palin falsely claims Barack Obama runs a 'death panel'
Seniors and the disabled "will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care."
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Saturday, December 19, 2009
Sen. Jim Inhofe flew across the Atlantic and — on little sleep — braved the snow, the cold and the dark to deliver his skeptical message at the international climate conference.
What he found when he got here: a few aides and a single reporter.
Seven U.S. banks closed; 2009 failures at 140 - MarketWatch
Seven U.S. banks were seized by regulators, bringing this year’s total of failed lenders to 140 as financial companies are tested by the recession and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. anticipates more shutdowns.
Banks with $14.4 billion in total assets were closed yesterday in six U.S. states, the FDIC said in statements on its Web site. The agency is overseeing the dissolution of banks at the fastest pace in 17 years.
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Friday, December 18, 2009
Obama Ordered U.S. Military Strike on Yemen Terrorists
Cruise Missiles Launched Thursday Hit Two Suspected al Qaeda Sites; Major Escalation of US Efforts Against Terrorists
By BRIAN ROSS, RICHARD ESPOSITO, MATTHEW COLE, LUIS MARTINEZ and KIRIT RADIA
—On orders from President Barack Obama, the U.S. military launched cruise missiles early Thursday against two suspected al-Qaeda sites in Yemen, administration officials told ABC News in a report broadcast on ABC World News with Charles Gibson.
One of the targeted sites was a suspected al Qaeda training camp north of the capitol, Sanaa, and the second target was a location where officials said "an imminent attack against a U.S. asset was being planned."
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Michelle Obama plays Santa Claus for Toys for Tots: "Michelle Obama plays Santa Claus for Toys for Tots
By Robin Givhan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 16, 2009; 1:44 PM
First lady Michelle Obama played Santa Claus on Wednesday afternoon, delivering two bulging sacks of donated toys to the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign in Quantico.
Earlier this month, when she unveiled the White House Christmas decorations, Obama also kicked off a toy collection drive to benefit Toys for Tots. So far, White House staff have donated some 500 gifts including board games and Legos and at least one spectacular Barbie Corvette. Obama delivered about a third of those goodies to Quantico. The rest will go to a distribution center in Anacostia. No word on which facility will be the lucky recipient of the Barbie luxury automobile."
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Shinnecock Tribe Moves Close to U.S. Recognition - NYTimes.com: "Shinnecock Tribe Moves Close to U.S. Recognition
By DANNY HAKIM
ALBANY — The Obama administration said Tuesday that the Shinnecock Indian Nation of Long Island had met the necessary criteria for federal recognition, signaling the end of a more than 30-year court battle and clearing a path for the tribe to build a casino in New York City or its suburbs.
The decision all but assures the tribe’s federal recognition, though there is still a required public comment period that will take place before final recognition is granted.
“The Shinnecock petitioner has met all seven mandatory criteria for federal acknowledgment,” the Interior Department said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon."
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The headquarters for the American military’s air war in Central Asia and the Middle East is located in a converted medical warehouse on an undisclosed base in a country the U.S. Air Force would rather not name. The lights are turned down low, so the troops can clearly see the giant screen at the far end of the in this cavernous, classified facility.
On that glowing screen is a digital map of Afghanistan, showing the position of every U.S. Air Force drone, every fighter jet, every bomber and every tanker aircraft with a teal dot. Most of the dots are positioned near the hotspots of the Afghanistan war — places like Kandahar, Helmand and Nangarhar provinces. But there are three dots, representing Air Force unmanned aerial vehicles, that aren’t above Afghanistan at all. These dots have moved to the east of the Afghan border; these drones are flying missions over Pakistan.
WE CAN'T GET RID OF BUSH!!!
The drumbeat is loud enough to put Democrats on notice. The president has increasingly discussed the need to get the deficit under control in recent speeches. And in Congress, a proposal to set up a bipartisan commission to force deficit reduction is gaining steam among the party's more conservative members.
All of which may be vital, say budget analysts say. But the hysteria over the deficit misses a fundamental point: the country's fiscal problems largely aren't due to Obama but rather his predecessor.
A forthcoming study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concludes that the $1.4 trillion annual deficit run by the government has little to do with current White House policies and much to do with George W. Bush's actions.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Greater Atlantic Bank is the first Virginia bank to be closed this year, with the last local failure occurring in 1993.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009
• The reason why the ‘18 months’ is important is because they don’t want us to be occupiers. From the Generals on the ground, I have heard it said that they don’t like us there.
• We want to stay over there because of our reasons, not theirs. The longer we foment anger the more recruits move to the terrorist to defeat us, not today but for the next generation.
All day I heard people say no timeline, even during the hearing today. I say that those people haven’t been deployed to anywhere. Even when I was in Macedonia they asked every two weeks, when is the US leaving? In Kosovo there were scared for us to leave, because of the Serbs, but that wanted to be independent of us.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Former NASA astronaut Sally Ride and Intel chairman Craig Barrett have signed on to recruit private sector leaders to advocate science and math education, scale out innovative science and math education efforts, and raise public awareness of the importance of science and math education.
As part of the five partnership efforts:
Discovery Communications, in partnership with research universities and federal agencies, will spend $150 million over five years on new educational content as part of its "Be The Future" campaign.
Time Warner Cable, FIRST Robotics, and the Coalition for Science After School will link up students with opportunities that exist in their areas
PNC Bank and Sesame Street which will invest money in math and science for young children and create 20 Sesame Street episodes focused on math and science in its Early Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Literacy Initiative
A number of non-profits will fund a nationwide science play day, upgrade science labs and create communities of science and math teachers on "National Lab Day"
Sony, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Entertainment Software Association will award children and adults who create innovative science and math games with their National STEM Game Design Competitions
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Government wants to oversee safety for subways, light rail
The Obama administration plans to propose that the U.S. government oversee safety for subway and light rail systems, a move prompted in part by the deadly collision of two trains in Washington this year.
According to a draft of the plan to be formally unveiled in coming weeks, the Transportation Department would either enforce safety regulations itself or grant states the option to do so under its guidance and financial assistance.
No cost estimate was provided and Congress would have to approve the proposal.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Famous ideas based on the Black Helicopter theory:
COW FART TAX
CAR MILEAGE TAX
TAX CUTS CREATE JOBS (2002 - 2008)
FEDERAL INCOME TAXES HAVE BEEN RAISED ON YOU
GOVERNMENT DOESN'T CREATE JOBS (VIRGINIA BEACH unemp. rate 6.7%; JOBS AT GENERAL DYNAMICS AND CACI, HARRIS CORP.)
Monday, November 16, 2009
A jump in the number of Americans facing the prospect of going hungry. Last year the number of households uncertain of having or unable to afford enough food ballooned 31% to more than 17 million, up from 13 million in 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday. About 14.6% of households fit the USDA’s definition of “food insecure” at some point in 2008 compared with 11.1% in 2007.
Single parents with children were disproportionately affected, as were black and Hispanic households and those with income below the poverty line ($21,834 for a family of four).
Nine states with food insecurity rates above the national average from 2006 through 2008 were clustered in the South. The list includes North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and New Mexico. The North Central states of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin were among the 11 that had food insecurity rates below the national average. Regionally, rates were lowest in the Northeast at an average 12.8%, and highest in the South, which averaged 15.9%, the report said.
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Sunday, November 15, 2009
But tucked inside the law was another prize: a tax break that lets big companies offset losses incurred in 2008 and 2009 against profits booked as far back as 2004. The tax cuts will generate corporate refunds or relief worth about $33 billion, according to an administration estimate.
Before the bill became law, the so-called look-back on losses was limited to small businesses and could be used to counterbalance just two years of profits. Now the profit offset goes back five years, and the law allows big companies to take advantage of it, too. The only companies that can’t participate are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and any institution that took money under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Among the biggest beneficiaries are home builders, analysts say. Once again, at the front of the government assistance line, stand some of the very companies that contributed mightily to the credit crisis by building and financing too many homes.
This is getting to be a habit: companies that participated on the upside and are now reaping rewards from the taxpayers on the downside. The banks that underwrote so many dubious loans, for example, received government aid to get them lending again. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the result.
The Private Sector Has Lost 300,000 Jobs Since 1999
[T]he private sector has shed over 300,000 jobs since 1999.
Think about that.
We have had a decade where there have been no new jobs added by the private sector. Real incomes are roughly where they were, and the stock market is down.
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Saturday, November 14, 2009
According to School Police, the second grader, a 7 year old boy, took the gun and intentionally fired it at a parked car in the area. No one was injured in the shooting. The gun was found by police in some bushes near the bus stop. The 7 year old and another student are being questioned by police.
Fox always does it!
Jefferson, who lost re-election last year in Louisiana, was accused in 2007 of soliciting millions of dollars in bribes from companies while using his office to broker business deals in Africa. He was convicted in August on 11 of 16 counts.
The case became particularly well-known because FBI agents said they found $90,000 in cash wrapped in foil and hidden inside various frozen food containers in his freezer.
Afghanistan’s new costs could wash out the projected $26 billion expected to be saved in 2010 from withdrawing troops from Iraq. And the overall military budget could rise to as much as $734 billion, or 10 percent more than the peak of $667 billion under the Bush administration.
Such an escalation in military spending would be a politically volatile issue for Mr. Obama at a time when the government budget deficit is soaring, the economy is weak and he is trying to pass a costly health care plan.
Senior members of the House Appropriations Committee have already expressed reservations about the potential long-term costs of expanding the war in Afghanistan. And Mr. Obama could find it difficult to win approval for the additional spending in Congress, where he would have to depend on Republicans to counter defections from liberal Democrats.
One senior administration official, who requested anonymity in order to discuss the details of confidential deliberations, said these concerns had added to the president’s insistence at a White House meeting on Wednesday that each military option include the quickest possible exit strategy.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Federal Election Commission Records show the RNC purchases its insurance from Cigna. Two sales agents for the company said that the RNC’s policy covers elective abortion.
Informed of the coverage, RNC spokeswoman Gail Gitcho told POLITICO that the policy pre-dates the tenure of current RNC Chairman Michael Steele.
“The current policy has been in effect since 1991, and we are taking steps to address the issue,” Gitcho said.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Five members of the Mohler family, a 77-year-old father and four of his middle-aged sons, were arrested Tuesday on multiple charges of forcible sodomy and rape after a woman related stories of her and other children being forced to line up on a bed on their knees and each being assaulted by the men.
In this undated photo released by the Lafayette County Sheriff's Department, Jared Leroy Mohler, 48, of Columbia, Mo., David A. Mohler, 52, of Lamoni, Iowa, Burrell Edward Mohler Sr., 77, of Independence, Mo., Burrell Edward Mohler Jr., 53, also of Independence, Mo. and Roland Neil Mohler, 47, of Bates City, Mo. from left, are seen. Authorities were searching a rural property in western Missouri on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009 for glass jars with notes written by children who allegedly were abused by their relatives about 20 years ago. (AP Photo/Lafayette County Sheriff's Department)
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck's Protest Footage|
Sunday, November 8, 2009
The 240-194 vote for the amendment included the support of 64 Democrats in addition to Republicans. It came as lawmakers considered a larger bill designed to cover 36 million uninsured Americans and curb rising medical costs.
“I am not writing a new federal abortion policy,” Michigan Representative Bart Stupak, who sponsored the amendment, said in floor debate tonight. The amendment will preserve the “principle of no public funding of abortion and no public funding of insurance policies that pay for abortion.”
Stupak had threatened to join with fellow Democrats to block consideration of his party’s health bill over the issue."
BBC NEWS | Business | Buffett firm sees profits triple: "Berkshire Hathaway said its net profit was $3.2bn (£1.9bn) in the three months to September, compared to $1.1bn in the same period last year.
But most of that was due to an unrealised $1.1bn gain on some derivatives its insurance unit holds.
Mr Buffett last week said he was taking control of a US railroad in his biggest deal to date.
Berkshire agreed to buy the stock that it does not already own in Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), the biggest US haulier of products such as corn and coal, for about $26bn in cash and stock."
Health Bill Earns One Republican Vote - Prescriptions Blog - NYTimes.com: "Mr. Cao, a freshman from New Orleans, was elected last year in an upset victory over Representative William J. Jefferson, a Democrat who was under indictment on federal corruption charges at the time and has since been convicted. (Mr. Cao’s name is pronounced g-OW)."
Friday, November 6, 2009
Private Marquest Smith was in the Soldier Readiness Center getting his final paperwork before deploying to Afghanistan when he heard gunfire. He threw the woman next to him to the ground, shielding her with his own body.
Police went to the home at 117 Gail St. and found a man and a woman dead. Brown said the man had apparently shot himself.
The woman is a Fort Campbell soldier, and her husband is a civilian who was formerly in the military, police said.
The couple has a history of domestic violence, Brown said.
The couple's two boys, ages 4 and 6, were in the home at the time of the shooting, police said.
Twenty-one-year-old Private Jonathan Law is in custody for the murder of another Marine early Friday morning. Officials still have their own questions regarding the incident, and are saying little about what they do know.
“A lot of your questions today are going to fall into two categories. On one hand, there are going to be a lot of unanswered questions because I simply don't have the information. On the other hand, there's going to be questions that I won't answer because of the pending investigation,” said US Marine Capt. Timothy Patrick.
Military authorities took Private Jonathan Law into custody after the body was found in the woods, near the French Creek area of the base. Law is a decorated Marine who joined the Corps in 2006 and served in Iraq.
Unemployment rate rises above 10% ; Obama signs jobless benefit extension -- latimes.com
The unexpectedly sharp increase in the unemployment rate, from 9.8% in September, came as employers dropped 190,000 workers from their payrolls last month. That was larger than the 175,000 job losses that most forecasters were expecting for the month, and it underscored just how dire the labor market remains despite the recent upturn in the nation's economic output.
The report did offer glimmers of hope. Government statisticians said job losses in September and August were a combined 91,000 fewer than previously estimated, and the latest month continued a trend of moderating job reductions since an average of nearly 700,000 positions were cut monthly in the first quarter. Moreover, employment in the temporary-help industry, which is considered a harbinger of broader hiring, has begun to grow again.
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A bank in Georgia and one in Detroit failed on Friday, bringing the 2009 tally to 117.
United Security Bank of Sparta, Ga., closed its doors for the last time on Friday, said the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Moultrie, Ga.-based Ameris Bank will assume control of all United Security's deposits.
Home Federal Savings Bank of Detroit, Mich., also failed late friday. New Orleans-based Liberty Bank and Trust Co. will assume control of its deposits.
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Thursday, November 5, 2009
Obama highlights AARP, AMA endorsements - Political Intelligence - Anational political and campaign blog from The Boston Globe - Boston.com
national political and campaign blog from The Boston Globe - Boston.com
"This is no small endorsement," he said of the AARP support, saying it should rebut criticism that the proposals would hurt seniors.
"We're thrilled they're standing with us," Obama, who plans to visit Capitol Hill on Friday in support of health reform, told reporters.
The AMA's backing is also important, he said, because "the doctors of America know what needs to be fixed with our health care system." (His full remarks are below.)
The AMA backed the Democratic bill, plus a companion bill that would shield doctors from cuts in Medicare reimbursements.
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Republican Wins Virginia Governor Race - NYTimes.com: "Robert F. McDonnell, a Republican and a former state attorney general, won a decisive victory in Virginia’s governor’s race Tuesday, a stark reversal of fortune for Democrats who have held control in Richmond for the past eight years.
Mr. McDonnell defeated the Democratic candidate, R. Creigh Deeds, an 18-year state senator from rural Bath County in western Virginia."
CNBC - “[Burlington Northern] does it in a very cost-effective way and they do it in an extraordinarily environmentally friendly way," Buffett said. "BNSF last year moved on average a ton of goods 471 miles on one gallon of diesel and it releases far fewer pollutants into the atmosphere. It saves enormously on energy consumption and it diminishes highway congestion."
"I believe this country will prosper and will have more people moving more good 10 to 30 years from now and the rails should benefit, but it’s a bet on the country,” he added.
Warren Buffett's Biggest. Deal. Ever. - MarketBeat - WSJ: "The rationale for the deal? “It’s a bet on the country basically,” Buffett told CNBC, adding that as the country recovers from this recession, there will be an increased demand to move goods. “They do it in a very cost effective way [and] they do it in an extraordinarily environmentally friendly way,” Buffett said of railroads."
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Banking regulators seized nine related community lenders in California, Illinois, Arizona and Texas, representing the collapse of one of the nation's largest privately held bank holding companies that grew through a string of acquisitions dating back to the savings-and-loan crisis of the 1990s.
The nine small banks represented the holdings of FBOP Corp., based in Oak Park, Ill., and owned by a banker who had plowed into real-estate lending around the country.
U.S. Bancorp Takes Over 9 Banks Seized by Regulators (Update1) - Bloomberg.com: "U.S. Bancorp, the Minneapolis-based lender expanding amid the financial crisis, agreed to acquire nine failed banks owned by closely held FBOP Corp. and seized by regulators yesterday.
The nine banks will cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. a combined $2.5 billion, the agency said. So far this year, 115 banks have failed, sending the insurance fund into a deficit in September and prompting the agency to propose that banks prepay three years of premiums to raise $45 billion."
Thursday, October 29, 2009
“Data released today by the Commerce Department show that real GDP grew at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of the year. This is in stark contrast to the decline of 6.4 percent annual rate just two quarters ago. Indeed, the two-quarter swing in the rate of growth of 9.9 percentage points was the largest since 1980. Analysis by both the Council of Economic Advisers and a wide range of private- and public-sector forecasters indicates that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 contributed between 3 and 4 percentage points to real GDP growth in the third quarter. This suggests that in the absence of the Recovery Act, real GDP would have risen little, if at all, this past quarter.”
Obama Visits Returning War Dead - NYTimes.com: "Obama Visits Returning War Dead
By JEFF ZELENY
President Obama traveled to Dover Air Force Base early Thursday morning, where he met with family members and paid his respects as the bodies of 18 Americans killed this week in Afghanistan were returned to the United States."
It was the president’s first trip to the Delaware air base, the main point of entry for the nation’s war dead to return home. The trip was a symbolic one for Mr. Obama — intended to convey the gravity of his decision as he moves closer to announcing whether he will send more troops to Afghanistan.
The overnight trip was not announced in advance. The president, wearing a dark suit and long overcoat, left the White House at 11:44 p.m. A small contingent of reporters and photographers accompanied Mr. Obama to Dover, where he arrived at 12:34 a.m. aboard Marine One. He returned to the South Lawn of the White House at 4:45 a.m.
October has been the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the war began eight years ago, with at least 55 troops killed in action. This week alone, about two dozen soldiers have died in attacks and accidents. The bodies returning to Dover Air Force Base shortly after midnight included seven Army soldiers and three agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency who were killed when their helicopter crashed on Monday in rural Afghanistan. The bodies of eight soldiers killed in an attack on Monday also arrived on an Air Force C-17.
On a clear fall morning, Mr. Obama boarded the back of the gray plane at 3:40 a.m., standing watch as Air Force Chaplain, Maj. Richard S. Bach, offered a brief prayer over the cases containing the remains of the 15 soldiers and three federal agents.
The family of Army Sgt. Dale R. Griffin, 29, of Terre Haute, Ind., agreed to have the transfer of his remains photographed early Thursday morning. The other families chose not to, officials said, under a new Pentagon policy that lifted an 18-year ban on media covering the return of U.S. service members killed in action if families provide permission.